Baantjer is a Dutch Detective Drama series which was broadcast from 1995 to 2006 by Dutch commercial broadcaster RTL, based on novels written by writer and former detective Appie Baantjer.
Set in Amsterdam, the series features veteran detective Jurriaan "Jurre" De Cock as he solves often bizarre murder cases. He is assisted by his young and overconfident assistant Dick Vledder, no-nonsense policewoman Vera Prins, computer expert Albert Keizer and coroner Ennaeus den Koninghe. Most murders involve a strange modus operandi or involve people from a wide variety of subcultures.
The series is arguably the most successful Dutch detective series ever and has been exported to France and Belgium. The series is also known for its spectacular number of reruns.
In 1999 a movie involving the television cast was made: Baantjer, de film: De Cock en de wraak zonder einde.
This series provides examples of:
- Always Murder: Averted. One case involves an accident. A young girl playfully jumps onto her father from a height whilst he is writing, causing his ballpoint to get lodged into his nose, puncturing his brain.
- Asshole Victim: Some of the murder victims are revealed to have been such horrible people that it's hard to feel pity for them:
- Coen Simons from "De Cock en de vleesgeworden moord" used to be a high school bully and swindled one of his former victims out of his money too.
- Ernst Dietrich from "De Cock en de moord in de 3e positie" was a ballet instructor who sexually abused some of his students. Worse yet, it was an Open Secret and it's stated that he didn't even bother being discreet about it.
- Gerrit Koedoder from "De Cock en de bedrogen moordenaar" was a deadbeat journalist who regularly cheated on his wife and sold off her possessions to pay off his gambling debts. It's also revealed that he was involved with the acccidental death of a college freshman in his fraternity days, due to a prank gone horribly wrong, he exploited this by blackmailing those who were also involved with the incident.
- Les Collaborateurs: To his great embarrassment, the uncle of Ennaeus den Koninghe was a collaborator during WWII. He himself is accused of being one by a Jewish Holocaust survivor, on account of the close physical resemblance to his uncle.
- The Coroner: Ennaeus den Koninghe.
- Cult: "De Cock en de moord op de vader" features one. Its leader, Kalin Chagin, kills the father of a female member (in front of her) after he tries to convince her to leave the cult and come home with him
- Da Chief: Superintendant Buitendam, even though he does not concern himself with day-to-day affairs, except to meddle whenever he's nervous.
- Deadpan Snarker: Den Koninghe and Vledder. Den Koninghe towards Vledder and Vledder towards Den Koninghe and towards suspects during interrogations.
- "Eureka!" Moment: De Cock almost always gets one at Lowietje's pub. An offhand remark by pub owner Lowietje leads him to crack the case. Vledder never understands this, but De Cock always leaves the pub, forcing Vledder to follow him out. As a consequence Vledder never gets to finish the drink Lowietje serves him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Victim of the Week in "De Cock en de moord in Club Shirley" is the son of a powerful crime boss, who turns out to have been murdered by his own brother because he disapproved of and was disgusted by the latter's plans to start making money by overseeing the distribution of child pornography.
- False Confession: Several suspects make one. De Cock never falls for these, even though Supt. Buitendam often does out of wishful thinking.
- Fanservice Extra: De Cock's favorite bar is Lowietje, which is located within the Red Light District of Amsterdam. When De Cock and Vledder are hanging out in the bar waiting for a "Eureka!" Moment, there are always prostitutes visible in the background.
- Flashback: Every episode features a flashback to the murder itself so that the audience can see it for themselves.
- Fiery Redhead: Vera Prins. A bit of a subversion, because she isn't as fiery, though she is a redhead.
- Freestate Amsterdam: Subverted. The series does take place in Amsterdam of course and although drug use, prostitution and liberal attitudes are there, it is not nearly as clearly emphasised as the stereotype would have it.
- Get Out!: Said at least once per episode by Buitendam to De Cock.
- Happily Married: De Cock and Keizer.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Dick Vledder has a crush on Vera Prins.
- I Didn't Mean to Kill Him: Often uttered. Most of those who do get manslaughter convictions. One or two suspects did mean to kill, but killed the wrong person.
- Inspector Javert: Inspecteur Tuinstra in De Cock in de zaak Vledder. He is determined to see Vledder convicted even though he is innocent. This is because he seeks revenge against De Cock, who had Tuinstra demoted after dereliction of duty years before.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Not seen on screen, but both De Cock and Buitendam are known to have extracted a confession using force in the past.
- Ladykiller in Love: Vledder thinks of himself as quite the ladies' man note , but he is only moderately successful. He has had his string of girlfriends, but some women are simply not impressed by his antics. Unfortunately one of them happens to be his colleague Vera Prins, for whom Vledder has feelings.
- Leitmotif: The series uses music and sound to emphasise the mood, especially when the murder is featured but also to underline humour.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Subverted, in the person of Superintendant Buitendam. He tries to run a tight ship and has a meddlesome personality. At least once an episode he puts pressure onto De Cock to solve the case faster. But he is also known to turn a blind eye to aid De Cock. Sometimes his superiors force him to be obstructive, making Buitendam more of a Beleaguered Bureaucrat at times.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: De Cock is the old cop, his partner Vledder the young cop.
- Serial Killer: De Cock has to deal with one in season three. The serial killer is after red-haired women. De Cock employs Vera Prins as decoy, enabling him to arrest the serial killer.
- Spell My Name with an "S": De Cock always spells out his name when first introducing himself to somebody, to avoid that they will spell it as "kok" ("cook" in English), which is the more common spelling for this word.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Averted. The soundtrack fits the scenes very well, reinforcing the mood.
- Theme Naming: Most last names of the detective team are related to titles of aristocracy or professions:
- De Cock: means the cook.
- Den Koninghe: the King
- Prins: Prince
- Keizer: Emperor
- De Graaff: the Count
- Twin Switch: The episode De Cock en de moord op de middenstip essentially revolves around this trope. Edwin Kuipers, a famous and talented striker for AFC Ajax, is found strangled on the Amsterdam Arena pitch. His surviving twin, Robin Kuipers, is a mediocre soccer player and plays for an amateur side. When the girlfriend of Edwin is murdered and Robin starts to suffer from an injury attributed to Edwin whilst playing a superb match, De Cock deduces that Edwin killed Robin and took his place to escape persecution and to atone for him murdering his brother in a row. The row also was the consequence of regular Twin Switching as Edwin allowed Robin to take his place in the Ajax squad every once in a while. However, the two got into an argument when Edwin wanted to back out and Edwin ended up strangling Robin.
- Unfortunate Name: In English De Cock's last name has an unfortunate meaning. The same can be said of Vledder's first name, Dick. Lampshaded in an episode about the murder of an English teacher.
- Volleying Insults: Always happens between Den Koninghe and Vledder after the (first) body is discovered, albeit in a snarking and mild manner. Den Koninghe cannot stand Vledder, whom he regards as an upstart with a questionable sense of humour. Vledder thinks of Den Koninghe as a corpse-obsessed, humourless and bad tempered man. Both think of each other as arrogant.
- Wrongly Accused: Vledder. In De Cock en de zaak Vledder he is wrongly accused of murder after having been set up by the real murderer.